Bored of trying to find a seat in the SJ? These are some of Liverpool’s best alternative revision spots

Cafe culture is life, hun

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Wow, here we are, week one of exams and you already have to arrive at the SJ at 5:48am to find a seat. And as much as the Library on Tour was a lovely idea, a couple odd extra seats spread around campus wasn’t going to solve the population crisis of the University of Liverpool. Even if you get a seat, trying to achieve a solid day’s revision in the pressure cooker atmosphere of the Grove wing with the library police stalking the aisles is near to impossible.

So why not branch out? There are a tonne of alternative places to revise in the city this exam period and no, we aren’t just talking about the central teaching hub.

92 Degrees Coffee Shop

The classic alternative study spot for Liv Uni students, 92 Degrees is situated on Hardman Street, opposite the Philharmonic. It’s airy, open and smells of roasting coffee, because they roast all their own beans.   There are huge sofas, an array of tables and even a breakfast bar with views out on the street to choose from and you can order smoothies, coffees, cakes and food. It’s popular with freelancers, students and tutors alike, so you don’t need to feel worried about sitting for a long time drinking only a couple of cups of coffee – these guys are used to it. Bonus: one of the barristers is really cute. Coffee and good looks all day, what more could you want?


The Central Library

This is basically a more aesthetically pleasing, less stressful SJ alternative. Situated next to all the museums around St John’s Gardens, the Central Library is free to use and you can normally find a seat. There are 150 public computers available for use (bare in mind you have to sign up to use them), free wifi and, probably most importantly, there’s a cafe on the ground floor. Try and get a seat in the Picton Reading Room for an awe inspiring working environment.


Bold Street Coffee

Another classic coffee shop spot, Bold Street Coffee is a lot like 92 Degrees but they do a mega breakfast menu. You need to get there early – they’ve only got a few seats – but starting a revision day with french toast, bacon and maple syrup is how all days should start tbh. The coffee is pretty incredible as well.

The JMU libraries

Apply here, they’ll send you a card and then you’re free to use any of the JMU libraries to your hearts content. Wowza. The Aldham Robarts library is situated about 5 minutes walk down Hardman Street, while the Alvril Robarts library is the other side of town, near the museums, if you’ve got a car it’s easy to get to.

Their library is pretty nice as well

That one desk in the foyer of the Roxby Building 

No, really. A student at Liverpool thinks she’s worked out the secret to exam period and, hello, this is me about to ruin her semester. There’s a table in the Roxby building foyer, to the left and up the small flight of stairs when you come in. One table, one chair, some plug points and a beautiful floor to ceiling window. Oh, and this girl is who is there every. single. day. Go on, someone get up early and ruin her week by stealing this beauty of a revision spot for themselves.

Ziferblat, St Paul’s Square

Did you say free coffee and cakes?! Ziferblat might be a bit far out (it’s in the business district), but it’s the perfect revision HQ. Drinks and food are free, as is the wifi. Instead, you pay 8p for every minute you’re there and wash up your dishes when you’re done. It’s self-service, but considering that if you’re there for more than 4 hours, you spending is capped at the 4 hour mark, it’s really a win-win situation. Specials they’ve provided in the past include iced tea, flavoured waters, and pancakes. Plus, you can play a board game if you get really bored.


Cow&Co Cafe

You’ve probably never heard of Cow&Co but but it’s a hidden gem in this city and it’s the perfect little revision spot. Located in Cleveland Square, near L1, Cow&Co specialise in coffee, cakes, waffles and sandwiches. It gets busy, but if you get there in time you can bag a seat. Don’t be alarmed if someone asks to share your table – limited space calls for communal living. Bonus: the cafe is next to a dog groomers so you get to see puppers and doggos while you work.

Downstairs in the SCTH

Rather than traipsing upstairs to the social hub, take a left when you enter the South Campus Teaching Hub. Through the door, there’s a couple of desks, some bar stalls and further done a couple more desks. Bonus of these desk is you’re near the best loos on campus.

School of the Arts top floor

The School of the Arts library is already open as part of the ‘Library on Tour’ but for a less busy alternative, head to floor 3 in the Arts building and walk down the building – there’s sofas, desks and even a water fountain. Hardly anyone is in the building during exam period and your only risk is running into your dissertation tutor while they’re marking your work.